Category Archive: Arm Chair Critic – The Joy of reviewing a book

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” Mark Twain

Jul 11

THE MEANDERERS – DHAWAL TRIVEDI

“The Meanderers” is a compelling coming of age novel that captures in a vivid manner, the diverse perspectives of life viewed through the prism of its protagonist. The story of Om Vats is an epigrammatic agglomeration of triumphs and tribulations. The paradigm shifts in attitudes, deeds and outlook that form the underlying essence of Om’s …

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Jun 03

Eleven Gods and a Million Indians – Boria Majumdar

11 Gods

For the typical Indian, cricket is the metaphor that signifies the machinations of everyday life; a metaphysical avenue for compensating personal and professional inadequacies and more than anything else a magnet whose inescapable lure may, at the most be resisted but never overcome. Cricket is escapism; cricket is assurance; cricket is the all-encompassing panacea that …

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Jun 02

You’re More Powerful Than You Think – Eric Liu

Eric Liu

The recent imposition of trade tariffs by an obstinate Trump administration and the reciprocating adverse measures announced by his Mexican and Canadian counterparts (with the EU sure to soon follow suit) has not only triggered a global concern about an impending trade war but has also set off a panic whose potential backlash could be …

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Apr 30

Brother Odd – Dean Koontz

Brother Odd

Dean Koontz starts off like a sleek and racy Shanghai Maglev, loses momentum in between but still maintaining the look and feel of a Shinkansen, before finally losing steam and sputtering to a huffing and puffing halt like a lumbering freight train. Odd Thomas seeking solace and serenity from a troubled mind, find himself in …

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Apr 30

Girl On The Train – Paula Hawkins

 If you intend your work to sell 40 million copies, get translated into multiple languages and even after years of its publication, continue to be the talk of many a town, it better be good. Paula Hawkins’ book is just that – and more! “Girl On The Train” (“the book”) is not just good, it’s …

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Apr 22

Stuffocation: Living More With Less – James Wallman

Stuffocation

  In this radical and ingenious book, forecaster and researcher James Wallman identifies the one scourge that is plaguing the homes and minds of people all over the world today, before proffering a range of innovative solutions to destroy this specter. The problem is “clutter” – physical clutter as opposed to mental or psychological clutter. …

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Mar 13

Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Skin

Two footnotes in this book reveal in stark detail the character (of a total lack of it) of the author. I have no choice but to reproduce the two obscene, insensitive and uncalled for footnotes as they appear in the book:  ·       Actually I usually joke that my death plus someone I don’t like surviving, …

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Mar 10

A FEAST OF VULTURES: THE HIDDEN BUSINESS OF DEMOCRACY IN INDIA – JOSY JOSEPH

A Feast of Vultures

Anonymous intermediaries lubricating the political machinery in the country, ingenious and resourceful middlemen greasing a multitude of palms to enhance the positions, potential and power of both the needy and the greedy, entrepreneurs masquerading as politicians and politicians disguised in the garb of entrepreneurs, dreaded underworld dons with inextricable links to businesses run by an …

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Feb 18

Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford

messy-hb-us

Tim Harford’s books are counter intuitive, provocative, contrarian, refreshing and most importantly sheer fun to read. “Messy” is no exception. In this engaging work, Harford demonstrates how people fight against, survive and thrive by bucking the trend of a world obsessed by the rigours of tidiness, structure, norms and conventions. Going beyond mere aesthetics and …

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Feb 18

How Will You Measure Your Life? – Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth, Karen Dillon

Measuring Life

This short but powerfully influential book has the potential to not only spur the reader towards bouts of engaging introspection, but also to steer the course of key and critical decisions which one otherwise would be prone to exercise – sans much judiciousness – in both his/her personal and professional lives. Whether it be a …

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